Team Canada

PGA Tour: Mackenzie Hughes Talks Falling Just Short at 2020 Honda Classic

PGA Tour professional Mackenzie Hughes recaps his weekend 66-66 after just barely making the cut and falling just short of a victory at the 2020 Honda Classic.

PGA Tour: Mackenzie Hughes talks to the media following completion of the 2020 Honda Classic

Q. Great finish, 66-66 on the weekend after making the cut on the number. What a run you made this weekend. You have to be very proud of yourself.
MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, it’s been a really tough season so far for me. I knew I was never really that far off, but it’s all results, and the results weren’t good so far this year. I always believed I could do it, but until you do it and get yourself back in there, there was always that bit of doubt.

I mean, this golf course I knew would bring out my best because it’s just such a grind, and you just have to hang in there, just hang in there and hang in there. I mean, I just fought my butt off all weekend. Yeah, it was a lot of fun to be back in the mix, though.

Q. 16 you had that vicious lip-out for par, and you come to the 17th and from 54 feet roll in that putt. That had to be exhilarating.
MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, 16 was tough. You know, didn’t put it in a good spot off the tee and didn’t draw a great lie, and the putt I thought I had just gutted, and it came right back at me. 17, got away with one. I kind of push-fanned one and it was on the green, and I stole my caddie, and I was like, let’s just try and make Sungjae’s putt a little harder. That’s a huge bonus that that ball would drop in. I haven’t been that excited on the golf course in a long time.

Unfortunately I’m standing there in 18 fairway, I just — it’s a tough shot. Wind is in off the right, and you’re trying to cut one but you can’t over-cut it because then you’re going to be knocked down by the wind. I was grinding my butt off and unfortunately just one short, but I had so much fun this week.

Q. Just a little bit short, but what a great week for you. If we can get some comments.
MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, super fun week. I’ve had a very tough season so far and don’t feel like I’ve played poorly. I’ve missed a lot of cuts by two, three shots, and I’ve had my chances to play the weekend, but things just were falling short there at the end. I never felt like I was far away from being in a spot like this, and I knew that this golf course would be a great fit for just the grind — make a bunch of pars, throw in the odd birdie, and I’ve always loved coming to this place. It tests every part of your game, and it’s mostly just mental.

So I had just tons of fun competing. I love being in the mix. I love having a chance to win, and yeah, so I mean, it sucks to come up one short, to fight that hard all day. I just kind of thought I was going to do it. But still proud of the way I fought this week and looking forward to the rest of the year.

Q. Did anything change from Friday to Saturday?
MACKENZIE HUGHES: No, not really. You know, my college golf coach, he texted me on Friday night, and he said, you know what, the hard part is over. I missed five cuts, and I always said when the hard part is over you’re on the weekend. It kind of loosened me up a little bit and I said, let’s just go out there and play golf and see what happens. I was just a little bit more at ease on Saturday, and once I posted 4-under, I knew that was going to give me a chance on Sunday, and then again, I knew I probably needed the same kind of round on Sunday, but just the confidence of doing it the day before, I thought, I can do this.

I had a great feel with a lot of the shots I was hitting this week, and yeah, it was just — it was nice to be in there because it’s been a while.

Q. Have you played with Sungjae before?
MACKENZIE HUGHES: I have not. I actually was kind of joking to myself coming up 18, I was like, man versus machine. I’m the man, hitting shots in bunkers and hitting the grandstands on 18 and he’s just like a machine. It was really impressive. He played great golf, a great start, which I think actually kind of helped me a little bit because I was like, I’ve got to go get this guy. He’s 4-under through five, I’ve got to chase him a little bit. So I thought early on, he seemed to have it beat, and I was like, just hang with him and keep it close and anything can happen down the last few holes.

He honestly hit two incredible shots into 15 and 17, and he’s very, very deserving, obviously, of winning.

Q. What was that like having Albin in your group? You guys go way back.
MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, that was really crazy. The chance of him being in our group were — like this is the first time he’s caddied for Sungjae and we’re paired together on Sunday. I thought it was kind of a dream come true because you get to walk with — my caddie is a good friend of mine, and I get to walk with Albin who I’ve known since junior golf days. It was a lot of fun. We had a few good laughs out there, and he might be caddying a little bit more in the future, I think, but we’ll see.

I also wanted to say one more thing. I had a friend of mine who passed away last week in Charlotte, Daniel Meggs, and all week I marked my ball with his initials, and I just want to tell Daniel, who’s up in a better place now, and his family, that I’m really thinking about them. Daniel was an incredible human being, golfer at Wake Forest, and I was playing for him this week. I always play for myself, but I looked down at my ball every now and then and just reminded myself that it’s a blessing to be able to have another round of golf, to continue to play this great game, and I know what he wouldn’t give for another chance to play a round of golf or to be with his family.

I just wanted to give a shout-out to Daniel Meggs and his family and tell them I’m thinking about them.

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

March 1, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team Canada

PGA Tour: Corey Conners Recaps Round 1 at The WGC Mexico Championship

PGA Tour professional and Canadian Corey Conners recaps his round 1 68 at the 2020 WGC Mexico Championship. Connors currently sits 3 shots off the lead heading into the second round.

PGA Tour: Corey Conners speaks with the media following round 1 of the WGC Mexico Championship

Q. How would you assess the day out there?
COREY CONNERS: It was a really solid day, tricky conditions, wind blowing a little bit. But feel like I controlled my golf ball really well, hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of good iron shots, and kept it pretty simple, pretty stress-free for most of the round. Had a little hiccup out there on the 15th hole, but yeah, overall a solid day, and I felt good about my game.

Q. This is your first time here; I’m sure you’ve heard about the elevation, the thin air. Did anything surprise you today during the round?
COREY CONNERS: Not really. I played a number of places on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica where there was some pretty high elevation.

Q. Altitude like this?
COREY CONNERS: Pretty close, yeah. There were a few places I think in Colombia, the Korn Ferry TOUR event, Mexico, as well. I think I played in Quito, Ecuador. I think that was high, as well. I could be mistaken. But this is probably the most. And I actually played a junior tournament at this golf course 10 years ago, so I remembered some of the holes, and I didn’t hit it as far back then and not quite as high, so I’m noticing the ball flying a lot further than it did back then, but still have some memories from that, and yeah, it’s a great golf course.

Q. Do you remember what that junior tournament was?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, it was a qualifier for the Toyota Junior World Cup, which was held in Japan, and I was representing Canada as part of the team, and it was a qualifier. There were maybe 10 countries that were here fighting for the top two spots to go to Japan and some other — Mexico was obviously here and some other countries in South America. The Canadian team was able to make it through there and move on to Japan.

Q. How did you finish?
COREY CONNERS: I was the medalist, low individual, and Canada won the team contest, as well, so some good memories.

Q. Corey, just the one blemish out there, the putter snuck up and bit you, but other than that, fantastic.
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, a really solid day. Quite happy with how I played. I tried to keep things simple. It’s a tricky golf course, but yeah, fairways and greens, and had a little hiccup out there. But yeah, overall a solid day. I feel good about all parts of my game.

Q. You mentioned a tricky golf course. Is that because of the altitude or the kikuyu, also?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, a mixture of the altitude is a big adjustment for us, figuring out how far the ball goes, and there’s some firm spots out there and some softer spots. It’s tricky to get the ball in some of the fairways. You’ve got to be smart, but you’ve got to make aggressive swings, and I feel like I did a good job of that today.

Q. Looks like a fun golf course to play, given all the holes that you can really attack. No. 1 you can reach it in one shot, 2 also you can get pretty close —
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. Like I had 300 yards into 11, and I hit a 5-wood, landed on the front of the green, gave myself a good look for eagle there. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun, a fun challenge, and played a little bit on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, so I’m not a stranger to some elevation, and yeah, just having fun with it.

Mexico City, Mexico

February 20, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team Canada

PGA Tour: 2020 AT&T Pro-Am Winner Nick Taylor Recaps Victory

Canadian Nick Taylor recaps his victory at the 2020 AT&T Pro-Am, becoming the first Canadian to win the event and only the second player to win wire to wire.

PGA Tour: Canadian Nick Taylor revisits victory at the AT&T Pro-Am

JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome Nick Taylor, the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am champion, to the interview room. Nick is the first Canadian to win this event, just the second to win in wire-to-wire fashion.

Nick, congratulations on your second PGA TOUR win. If we can get some comments.

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, it was an incredible week. It was — start to finish. I started my first hole with an eagle. I just felt like I read the greens so well this week and made a lot of crucial putts. Today was such a difficult day with the wind. And again, made some crucial putts even on the first hole, it was a big one for par, and some birdie putts early on to get the round going, and really hung in there in the middle of the round. That chip-in on 15 was obviously massive. So it was just an incredible week tee to green, on the greens, everywhere.

JOHN BUSH: And you move up to No. 13 in the FedExCup standings. I’m assuming this sort of changes your goals and expectations the rest of the season.

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, it does. It lines me up great for the FedExCup playoffs. Last couple years I felt like I’ve been fighting for my card, so things have changed, which is awesome to be able to make my schedule a little bit more. So all great stuff. Probably hasn’t sunk in quite yet, but yeah, I’m looking forward to some rest today and tomorrow and then playing next week.

JOHN BUSH: Open it up to questions then.

Q. This is your — from an emotional level, when you kind of get through that end of the front nine stretch and all of a sudden you got a five-shot lead, and then coming off 14 when the wind’s blasting and it’s down to two and not even bogeys seem easy. How did you kind of keep yourself steady?
NICK TAYLOR: It was tough, that whole stretch, really 11 through 14. 11, I pulled it a little bit off the tee, but I think I just probably took a little too far line to the left. I didn’t see it bounce. Obviously it ran for awhile. But just took my medicine and made bogey there.

When Phil flew the green on 12, I still thought at best I could fly to the front third of the green, and hit a good shot and it went over and there was no sand in that bunker, similar to what happened to me on Friday. So bogeys were really hard for those two holes. And then 14, the drive was a little left of what I wanted but getting up in that lip of the bunker just made that hole very challenging from there. And we were almost thinking about laying up again, which that’s no bargain having a wedge with all that wind. Then I’m short right and then I’m really trying to minimize the damage of if you come up short there that’s the worst thing you could possibly do. So probably I was a little too careful, went long. And but after that, I think Phil making bogey was probably, you know, to only lose one shot on that hole with the lead to go down to two, I had to remind myself I still had the lead, I knew I was swinging it well and just needed to hit that fairway and I hit a great drive there, so that was nice.

Q. Talk about the conditions today. A lot of guys had trouble throughout the entire day and how that affected your game. And was there anything about your game coming into the week that you thought, I could really do well here?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, again, this is my, one of my favorite tournaments of the year. These golf courses really set up well, I think, for my game. But today was really difficult. You knew the first six, seven holes being a lot of helping wind that getting off to a good start would be crucial to kind of ease into the middle of the round because once you got to 11, it was straight into the fan and the greens were firming up. They were getting crispy. So yeah, obviously, it was an amazing start through six holes, kind of let it go away there a little bit. But yeah, it was just very challenging with the wind. And I think, looking at the leaderboard, I didn’t look at it until probably the start of the back nine. Knowing that everyone else was having a difficult time as well, I knew that if I could make some pars that I would be fine, make people have to catch me.

Q. When you’re warming up and it’s pretty cold and the wind’s already blowing and you got that final pairing with Phil, what were you thinking on that little short drive down to that first tee?
NICK TAYLOR: I was thinking about hitting my new big 4-iron — so we have a little 4-iron and a big 4-iron, but it’s the Max, it’s new, it’s a big cavity back and it’s been great this week. But that’s what I was thinking about, where to hit this, potentially hitting 3-wood, but probably going to be the 4-iron and then, from there. But I was actually relatively calm for the scenario going into the round. I didn’t eat much breakfast this morning, slept very average last night, which I expected. But once we teed off, like, I honestly, think playing with the amateurs, it kind of made the round slower and just made a little more time between shots. I didn’t feel, I didn’t ever feel rushed. I think that helped a lot.

Q. Kind of building off that question, but you said yesterday you had never played with Phil before. Given that, what was the interaction like? I saw on the 3rd tee looked like you guys had a backup and a little conversation, and did you have any sort of yikes moment where, I’m playing with Phil final round, and how did you get through that?
NICK TAYLOR: You know, I’ve been — this is my sixth year, so I’ve seen Phil a lot. We have never really had a conversation. But the scenario was probably bigger than actually me playing with him. But he was great. We had some conversations throughout the day. I think probably since the back nine we were just kind of doing our own thing. But, yeah, he was very great to play with. So that was, it was a fun, obviously, a very memorable round to play with him and how much success he’s had here, but he was great to play with.

Q. You kind of alluded to this earlier, but how tough has it been to kind of live on the edge in terms of the top-125 the last couple years? And also, could you talk about the final round at 2018 Wyndham when you obviously played your way into the playoffs that year and how big that was.
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, it’s not fun hovering around that 125. I’ve been able to keep my card the last couple years, did it a little bit earlier last year. But that final round is probably what I drew back on the most starting today, because in the grand scheme of things I was under way more pressure, I felt like, in that scenario than actually when I was trying to win today. A lot of similar emotions before the round, during the round, really trying to focus on each shot that was ahead of me. But yeah, I drew back on that round a lot and that was very crucial for my career and it’s nice not having to do that again this year at least.

Q. You just won on an iconic venue, you beat a Hall of Famer. Are you excited? Does it feel good? You’re not giving us very much to work with here.
NICK TAYLOR: It feels amazing. Again, I don’t think it’s going to sink in for quite some time. I don’t know if I blocked out the last five hours and just played golf, and you know, now I’m here with winning with a trophy, it’s amazing. But again, I just tried to, as much as I can block that out. But we’re so privileged to be able to play this golf course every year and to win, like you said, and like at iconic place, it’s amazing.

Q. People would look at this and say, Where have you been since you won in 2015? And they even look at your recent list of finishes, a couple missed cuts, a T-32, whatever, you know, I think people would be curious to say, How do you turn that around? How do you go from that to finding whatever it is, big something, little something? What is it?
NICK TAYLOR: It’s a very fine line out here. Like you said, finishing 32nd in Hawaii. You know, that week I felt like I putted pretty poorly and if I had a putting week like I did this week, I think I would have been in contention most of the week.

Last week is a course that really doesn’t set up great for my game and so it’s hard to, there’s going to be plenty of golf courses throughout the year that don’t set up well for your game, some that do. I knew coming in this week that my game’s been great for almost a year now. Really driving it great. And I think we have, my coach, caddie, we have talked about it, really trying to minimize the mistakes that we make that shoot ourselves in the foot and not necessarily execution errors, just kind of maybe more strategy errors. So we were awesome this week. He did a great job this week, my caddie, and it’s such a fine line.

Q. What was the club on 17?
NICK TAYLOR: 8-iron.

Q. And were you thinking 3 when you stood over the chip on 15? Were you thinking making it?
NICK TAYLOR: That was a good spot to miss. I was picking my spot. You know, it’s makeable, for sure, but I was trying to pick my spot. If I had a tap-in par I would have been delighted but it was nice it went in.

Q. And lastly, and you kind of brought this up yourself wit the fighting for 125, if you think about your six years on TOUR, you’ve never lost a card, conditional one year. But you’ve only played in two Majors, you’ve always been around kind of that 100 spot. Did you ever find yourself maybe not setting expectations high enough for you? Does that make sense? By the way, you’re going to the Masters.
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, you know, it’s tough when you set expectations if, it’s tough when you set them if you don’t reach them, how do you react to that? Is it disappointment? Is it — it’s fine, I have a goal, I want to achieve it. If you don’t achieve it, then that’s fine, figure out a way you can achieve it. But I’ve worked on that and it is hard. There’s so many good players out here. If you told me for 15 years I would finish 110 on the FedExCup, I think I would be fine with that. A lot of times if you have a job the next year you’re pretty pumped with that. So again, now that I have a job for two and a half, three years guaranteed, that’s amazing.

Q. Some of your fellow competitors, they describe you as being mentally tough. What makes you mentally tough and was there a moment today where that really was critical for you?
NICK TAYLOR: After 14 is probably, definitely I’ll look back on where we were having to settle down, calm yourself, remind myself that I still had a two-shot lead. I really wasn’t paying attention a lot. I knew that I felt like Phil and I had a cushion on 3rd for most of the day, and then I saw Streelman made a couple birdies at some point, but Phil was still — I didn’t realize until 17 green that he was, that Phil was in 3rd. But, yeah, I don’t really know what it comes from. I feel like I like being in that moment, I feel like I’m pretty mellow for the most part, so I won’t get too up or down. But, yeah, it’s just, you dream about those scenarios and luckily I’ve been able to pull it through a couple times.

Q. Didn’t you announce that your family was expecting the baby here at Pebble Beach? Could you answer two things then: One, just what it’s like to win when you did that, to win here when you did that; and two, just give us some family details then.
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, we, everyone that was very close to us we had told before that, but I guess social media-wise we had announced that we were having a baby at the after the U.S. Open here. And then when I won at Sanderson, my wife wasn’t there. We had, I had just gotten my card and she was still working back home and it was actually the last, the day I won was her last shift. She decided to go on casual. So it was crazy that day, to all of a sudden win, she’s not going to work anymore, we were going to be able to travel. And now to have her here with our son Charlie, who is only three months old, my in-laws were here, it was just, yeah, you couldn’t write it much better, to be honest.

Q. What job did she have?
NICK TAYLOR: She was a social worker back in the hospital in Abbotsford, Canada.

Q. I believe you’ve only played in two majors in your career, so how excited are you to play your first Masters and lock up, I think the PGA as well?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, that, I don’t think that’s, that’s the one that’s not going to sink in for awhile. To get that invite for the Masters, that’s a tournament that I’ve dreamt about playing my entire life. And I’ve been lucky enough, I think I’ve played three U.S. Opens, a couple were as an amateur, but as a pro on the PGA at Whistling Straights. But I think it’s going to open a lot of doors and I’m excited about that.

Q. Were you aware that no Canadian had won this tournament?
NICK TAYLOR: I wasn’t aware of that. I remember growing up watching Weirsy, he was in contention a couple times. I don’t know if maybe Arron Oberholser beat him that year, but Weirsy had texted me, Ames texted me, Pulling for you. Good luck. But, no, it’s pretty cool to be the first Canadian to do that.

Q. The bigger shot, 6 or 15? I would have to think under the circumstances 15 was bigger, but 6 was, it seemed like it was a key moment as well, because Phil was on in two and you were in the bunker.
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, that was, 6, again playing straight down wind, I hit 4-iron, 4-iron — it’s more like a 3-iron but 3-iron, 3-iron — and I knew when I hit that shot right that was the place to miss. If anything we wanted to be in that right bunker. And again not thinking hole but picking a spot and to get up close and for both to go in — 15 I think by far was bigger for the moment, to gain another shot. I felt like when Phil tied it up early on to birdie 4 was big and then for us both to birdie 5, that’s such a difficult par-3, I felt like we started to separate ourselves a little bit. But 15 was obviously massive.

Q. And do you feel like in some way you have out-Mickelson’d Mickelson today by doing that?
NICK TAYLOR: I saw his highlights yesterday, he hit some incredible shots around the green. His up-and-down on 13 today was ridiculous. But, honestly, seeing yesterday some of his shots that kind of, I came in it today and we almost came to a match play-type scenario at some point, but I would remind myself to kind of expect the unexpected from him. And so when he had that putt I was like, he’s probably going to make this, this is just something he does. And when it went in – my putt barely missed — but I wasn’t like shell shocked that he had made that putt because his wizardry yesterday and even today, it’s incredible.

Q. I guess you were asked already about Augusta, but a little more detail maybe. Did you — have you ever been there, have you played? When you say you’ve always dreamt of it, did you any specific memories watching it as a kid?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, you know when Tiger had won in ’97 was right when I was getting into golf. Mike Weir’s win, I remember being in my basement with my older brother and my dad watching and standing up probably the entire time. And, no, I haven’t been there. So I always hoped that my first time there would be actually competing in the tournament, so again, a lot of stuff’s going to take awhile to sink in, but I think that one is, it’s going to be incredible.

Q. First of all, what were you doing watching Phil highlights and was that the best thing to do before you played with him in the last round?
NICK TAYLOR: I was more curious of just how he was playing and his bunker shots — like I think he plugged in the back of the bunker on 7 yesterday and hit to a foot and that was just mind blowing that you could hit that shot. But I was just curious, to be honest. And he hit some amazing shots and I’m like, all right, well I don’t know if he can keep that up, if he can, great, but if I keep doing what I’m doing, plugging along, hitting fairways and greens then try to make the guys behind me try to beat me.

Q. What do you think Phil was expecting from you?
NICK TAYLOR: I don’t know. I know Tim a little bit better. His brother, Tim, I think was coaching at San Diego when I was in college, but I don’t know.

Q. And as you look back, what did you, what do you think was the greater challenge for you, going into the last round with a one-shot lead over someone of Phil’s pedigree and history here or the wind?
NICK TAYLOR: I think only having a one-shot lead, that’s so minor in a final round, and I knew with the conditions that I had a lead, but I didn’t feel like — if I had a 3- or 4-shot lead I feel like I would have been a lot more nervous, but — what was the second part of your question, sorry?

Q. Stronger challenge was knowing that you got Phil and only a one-shot lead or the wind. Ultimately what was your biggest test today?
NICK TAYLOR: I think it’s a combination of both. Again, when we made the turn it was pretty much me and him, unless — we both started to make some bogeys in the middle there — but I felt like it was me against him and that was a big part of the challenge. And I felt comfortable making that turn that it was just me and him. I wouldn’t say I felt intimidated, I knew I was playing well and I knew the conditions were tough so I just needed to keep doing what I was doing.

Q. To follow-up on that, you would have been more nervous, which makes sense, if you had had a 3- or 4-shot lead, is it safe to say that the most nerves you felt was when you had the 5-shot lead? It’s like you can only fail from there.
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, like people say you got a big lead you almost don’t know what to do with it. When I got the lead I felt like we were going to the very most difficult holes, so I knew par was going to be awesome. But, again, the shots I was hitting, I didn’t think they were that bad and I just really had to manage bogeys from there. And 14 we both struggled on the hole. Phil, we were both in that bunker and once you get in that bunker on the left, the right ones are okay, but the left ones you’re so far in, that’s such a hard pin, that, yeah, it was, we both were coming back to the field a little bit. But it’s a different feeling because you just don’t get that big a lead very often, you kind of try to keep doing what you’re doing but you’re almost — you try not to count the holes down, how many you have you left, but it’s, those thoughts are going through your head, it’s impossible not to, so I just tried to keep doing what I was doing and luckily it worked out.

JOHN BUSH: All right, congratulations once again to our 2020 champion, Nick Taylor.


NICK TAYLOR: Thank you.

Pebble Beach, California

February 9, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team Canada

PGA Tour: Nick Taylor Talks First Round 63 at The 2020 AT&T Pro-Am

PGA Tour professional Nick Taylor speaks to the media upon completion of his first round -8 63 about difference in conditions between this week and last.

PGA Tour: Nick Taylor talks to the media following his first round at the AT&T Pro-Am

DOUG MILNE: We would like to welcome Nick Taylor to the interview room here at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Thanks for stopping by for a few minutes after quite a successful first round. Monterey Peninsula, 8-under, 63 today. Talked on the way over. Really couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start than with an eagle at number 10. With that said, can you just take us through the round a little bit?

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I drove it really nice today. Obviously, playing 10 it’s a gettable par-5 to start the day. So hit two great shots there about 4 feet, I made eagle, so it was a nice start. And then I think I almost hit every fairway today, so I really had good numbers coming into a lot of greens, had chances, made some nice putts in the middle of my round to kind of keep it going and finished two great shots, a 5-iron and 3-iron on the last two holes to set up two birdies there. So tee to green was great and made some putts.

DOUG MILNE: You’ve got some history here. You’re making your sixth start. I think you’ve had a top-10 in 2017. Just some thoughts on the, just kind of being back here and this whole environment and how much that does for you.

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, this is one of my favorite events of the year every year. People ask me my favorite golf course. Pebble is definitely the top of the list. I just, growing up in the Northwest, I don’t know if its that and, you know, the rain doesn’t bother me, if that’s in the forecast. I think this week we’re going to be extremely lucky with that. But I just love these heavy golf courses. Growing up on poa annua, it suits my eye, so I always enjoy coming here.

DOUG MILNE: Open it up for questions.

Q. What would be your ideal of a great lunch right now? I’m curious more on the details on 10. What did you have left for your second and what club?
NICK TAYLOR: I hit a 4-iron in. I think I had, it was helping wind off the tee, hit a great drive there, so I maybe 225 to the, all the way to the back. It was a back pin so it was a 4-iron.

Q. And I know you like the golf courses, but what is it about the event that inspires you? What do you like best about the week?
NICK TAYLOR: It is always fun meeting new people. I’ve had different partners every year. You just can’t beat these three golf courses. They’re so fun to play. And yeah, it’s a combination of things. Obviously, meeting new people and having conversations, their relaxing rounds, for the most part. Again, the weather helps out. But, yeah, it’s just a great place to be.

Q. On that, how is a five-and-a-half-hour round relaxing? What are the keys for you to make that happen?
NICK TAYLOR: It was just a lot of time in between shots. You’re never really in a rush. I played with Beau Hossler and I feel like we get along really well, so just very relaxed that way. Again, the weather helps out. If it’s raining, it’s windy, five and a half hours is a long round. But we were very relaxed today, joked all day, and I felt like the mood was great.

Q. You said the last two holes you had 3-iron, 5-iron?
NICK TAYLOR: 5-iron into 8. 3-iron off 9 tee, the par-3.

Q. How far and to how close?
NICK TAYLOR: Five — the 5-iron was about 5 feet on hole 8. I think I had about 205 hole. And then they used the back tee on 9, which I had actually never seen. I think it was 240 hole 3-iron, about 18, 20 feet.

Q. That’s a good way to end.

Q. How far does the ball not fly compared with say Phoenix last week or what have you?
NICK TAYLOR: It’s a big difference. I did a little bit of Trackman work yesterday. My 9-iron, it was normalized, which means no wind. But it was going 140 yards max. Last week was probably 155, 160, so it’s significant enough. The breeze is just heavier. So, yeah, it’s a lot of calculations that you try to guess right and today we were fortunate to guess quite a few times right.

Q. The other thing, I’m not sure your history at the Hope or — you’re too young for that. It’s the American Express in Palm Springs. Do you play that quite a bit?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I’ve played it every year.

Q. The difference on a multiple-course rotation like this, is there any secret to figuring out where you are in terms of getting to Sunday when you’re all on one course? I mean, these are, I would think, different than the desert courses?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I feel like these three courses if the weather is similar every day that the scores are actually close to the same. Spyglass usually plays a little bit tougher. But since they have gone to the Stadium Course, that’s usually a couple, shot and a half tougher, at least than La Quinta and Nicklaus Tournament. So that one’s harder to gauge kind of where you are in the tournament until Sunday. But I feel like here everything’s plays relatively equal.

Q. What did you see, did you see a round like this coming? Have you been building toward this?
NICK TAYLOR: I’ve been playing solid all year I’ve been driving it great. Again the putts fell today, which was nice. I’ve never really played great at Phoenix, so that was, I think that was my best finish I had last year so I guess — or last week — but I played really well in Hawaii, didn’t have a great final round and I actually was playing well at the American Express, just had a weird Saturday round and missed the cut by a couple there. So the game’s been solid, it’s just kind of been growing. And it’s early in the year, I feel like I always start off slow.

Q. To have won so early on TOUR, as a rookie I think, that was your first fall, right?

Q. Did that do anything, expectation-wise, for you going forward?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I think it naturally does, I think without even trying you kind of expect that you’re going to be in contention more often than you’re not. I really, the last couple years, I feel like I played pretty well in certain stretches and been more in contention, but it still doesn’t happen as often as I think you would like. You always want to be in contention more. So there was an adjustment period in there, but I feel like the last few years my game’s much better than it was even when I won and now, obviously, getting more solid rounds, being more in contention, getting more comfortable when you’re in those situations.

Q. Lastly, the numbers might be a little bit skewed here for you to answer it, but what do you think the answer would be from most players if they were asked if they thought winning was harder before they won or after the realization of how hard it is to win?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, winning so early might have jaded me for a little bit there, but for sure there’s been tournaments where I felt like I probably played better golf and didn’t win than the week that I did. I think you need a few bounces here or there and putts lip in at the right time, making putts at key moments. When you get growing up watching Tiger you think that winning for some reason is easy, but it’s just, the reality is it isn’t. So as many times as you get your self in contention I feel like those breaks one week will eventually kind of go your way, but it’s extremely difficult.

DOUG MILNE: All right. Go eat.

Pebble Beach, California

February 6, 2020

NICK TAYLOR: Thank you.